Halloween’s still a couple months off, but Laika’s getting the spooky season started early this weekend with ParaNorman. Focus Features has just unveiled the final trailer for the 3D stop-motion animation, which features tiny bits of scenes under some unsettling percussion and an entertainingly creepy voiceover by John Goodman.

Directed by Sam Fell and Chris ButlerParaNorman centers around a boy (voiced by Kodi Smit-McPhee) who can speak to the dead. When an old witch’s curse puts his entire town in jeopardy, however, he becomes the only person who can save the day. Anna KendrickCasey AffleckChristopher Mintz-Plasse, and Tucker Albrizzi also lend their voices to the cast. Watch the new trailer after the jump.

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In February 2012, I visited the Portland-based animation studio Laika to watch the production of their newest stop-motion animated feature film ParaNorman (you can read about what I learned on set here). While on set I participated in an extensive roundtable interview with directors Chris Butler and Sam Fell about the very long process of turning this idea into a hand-crafted stop-motion animated 3D feature film. After the jump you can read the entire transcript of the interview.

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In February 2012, I visited the the Portland based animation studio Laika to watch production of their latest stop motion animated feature film ParaNorman. The 2009 adaptation of Neil Gaiman‘s Coraline earned the group critical and public acclaim, and many have been waiting to see what the hand-crafted independently owned production would create next.

This is the first time I’ve ever had the chance to visit a stop-motion animated production, and what I learned about the process both amazed and shocked me. I was surprised to find out how much artistry and patience goes into a film like this, more than you could ever imagine. Also, Laika is brining innovation to their artform, introducing 3D color printers to the mix. Find out how they used 3D color printers to create the characters you’ll watch on screen, along with 50 other fun factoids I learned on set. I’ve also included a ton of behind the scenes photos, showing the artists at Laika creating their own brand of magic, and a video blog I recorded with Steve from Collider. All this and more, after the jump.

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We’ve already seen a couple trailers for ParaNorman, the new film from Coraline-animating studio Laika, but I’m not going to complain about the release of one more. The film is about a boy (Kodi Smit-McPhee) who has to use his ability to communicate with the dead to save his town, and this new UK trailer has a few new bits of footage.

Most notably, there is a lot more footage of the big old bum voiced by John Goodman. There are other new bits showing off the characters voiced by actors like Jeff Garlin, Anna Kendrick, Casey Affleck, Leslie Mann, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Elaine Stritch, and Tucker Albrizzi, too. Overall, this continues to look like a cute, clever family film that should play well for kids and those who love horror and animation. After all, who can resist Laika’s great stop-motion work? Read More »

It’s a good week for fans of all-ages stop-motion animated films with a deathly twist. Just yesterday, we showed you the trailer for Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie, and we now have a new trailer for ParaNorman, the upcoming feature by Coraline studio Laika.

Kodi Smit-McPhee lends his voice to Norman, a misfit kid with the ability to see and speak with the dead. When an ancient curse is unleashed, however, his unique abilities make him his community’s best hope for salvation from the attacking supernatural forces. The film boasts an excellent cast that also includes Jeff Garlin, John Goodman, Anna Kendrick, Casey Affleck, Leslie Mann, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Elaine Stritch, and Tucker Albrizzi. Watch the trailer after the jump.

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From the very first announcement of ParaNorman, the new family horror feature from Coraline animation studio LAIKA, the film has seemed like a promising new prospect. The story, animation with stop-motion, is about a young boy who can see the dead and must protect his town from a zombie invasion. The first teaser trailer for the movie didn’t dim expectations at all. Rather, it raised them by demonstrating that the film might have an enviable balance between quirk, comedy and thrills.

Now there is a new UK trailer that isn’t quite as successful, but still paints ParaNorman as a unique, fun kids’ movie that has charm and laughs to spare. Check it out below. Read More »

I’m eager to see anything that comes out of the animation house Laika. The company’s last major production, Coraline, was a beautiful little film. Laika is following that with ParaNorman, a film written by Coraline storyboard supervisor Chris Butler.

The film has a great voice cast – Kodi Smit-McPhee (Let Me In, The Road) in the lead, with Casey Affleck, Tempestt Bledsoe, Jeff Garlin, John Goodman, Bernard Hill (Titanic), Anna Kendrick, Leslie Mann, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, and Elaine Stritch (30 Rock) — and tells the story of a young boy who has to protect his town against a zombie uprising. The first teaser has just been released and it looks like exactly the sort of movie that would have made me deliriously happy between the ages of ten and, well, now. Check it out below. Read More »

Zoe Saldana is in talks to join Mark Ruffalo in Infinitely Polar Bear, the directorial debut of screenwriter Maya Forbes. The drama follows a bipolar man (Ruffalo) and his long-suffering wife (Saldana). When the husband goes off his meds, he finds his life deteriorating along with his psychological condition. As he loses his job and his mind, his wife returns to work and then eventually moves out, leaving him to take care of their children.

The film is being produced by J.J. Abrams, who previously worked with Saldana on Star Trek, and financed by Megan Ellison, who executive produced True Grit. Shooting for Infinitely Polar Bear will take place in September, just before Saldana is scheduled to reprise her role as Uhura in the Star Trek sequel. [Vulture]

After the jump, Xavier Samuel and Myles Pollard board Drift, and ParaNorman adds to its voice cast.

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